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MOVE TIME is all about MINDSET!

May 02, 2022

This post is by Kem Roper.

In my younger years, my motivation for exercise came from a place of weakness, not strength. I lacked self-esteem, social savvy, and the physical attributes that captured boys’ attention. So, working out—especially weight training—was my attempt to re-shape my body. Unfortunately, it didn’t re-shape my mind. I obsessed over the super-toned models on the cover of fitness magazines and tried to be them. Yet, no matter how fit I got, I never quite fit the mold.

I am ashamed to say that I can hear my own voice in that of the unbelieving spies in Numbers 13:33. I, too, have suffered from self-doubt, as these men did when they declared: “We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.” No matter how close I came to success or personal achievement, as long as I disparaged myself for all that I was not, the enemy didn’t have to lift a finger to defeat me. God waited years for the pervading mindset of the Israelite people to die off, and it has taken years for my old ways of thinking to die as well.

I’m a bit older now and my physical activity is constrained by aching knees. Yet, although I am physically weaker than I was in my 20s, I have gained a stronger mindset. I see how my self-perception drove me to obsess over my deficiencies even as I pursued physical fitness. I see now that I was so busy worrying about how others saw me that I didn’t consider who God made me.

Move time is not about getting a perfect body, it’s about conditioning your body to move.  We shouldn’t put so much pressure on ourselves to look a certain way; we should push ourselves to be a certain way. “In Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). So, what has God designed you to be? Start there. With this mindset, then, you can move forward. Maybe He would have you run marathons, or maybe He just wants you to take the stairs to your apartment by twos! Ultimately, He desires that you “prosper and be in good health” (3 John 1:2), but health includes both mind and body.

This is what I’ve learned over the years. Exercise and fitness are important and necessary aspects of our overall health, but we must look at what is motivating us towards the exercise we choose. Is it self-love or self-loath? As Christians we’re taught to love others as ourselves (Mar 12:31), but I think we skip over that last part. We are so busy loving others that we don’t put in the necessary work to love ourselves. As a result, we unknowingly compromise our capacity to love others, because it is only from a deep well of love that we can offer it up.

Begin your move time with the right mindset. These days I insert yoga into my fitness routine. While in my younger years I would scoff at yoga because it was too slow, now I savor the healing that comes from breathing. It’s such a new experience for me! Yet, closing my eyes and listening to my own breath makes me thankful for life and reminds me of the Life Giver. Try it. Breathe in God’s love—accept it fully—then exhale that love to others. You’ll be amazed by the results.


Dr. Kem Roper is a college professor, university writing center director, blogger and author of Trust the Process: How Writing Can Help You Get Unstuck, an interactive devotional for women who are seeking a deeper insight into God’s purpose for their life. Connect with Kem on Facebook @kemroper and visit www.justkem.net to join the sisterhood!

Photo by Conscious Design on Unsplash


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